Natural adventures at a hidden park in Yucatan, Mexico
How did we choose Ox Watz?
We desired to be surrounded by nature, to sleep under the starry sky and to breathe the air of the jungle. Unfortunately, we only had a couple of days available; basically we wanted an express/full adventure. OxWatz Natural Reserve was a great choice, but being only 2 days in advance, we were nervous about availability.
So we booked and the next day we received the confirmation by phone. We were really looking forward for this experience to begin.
Day 1 - The natural reserve
The service includes a tent, but we took our own (being sentimental here) and arrived with it and our backpack at the meeting point in Tekal de Venegas, a village 15 minutes distance from Izamal, Yucatan. Manuel and Román were responsible for guiding us during this adventure. At 3:00 p.m. the guys had everything ready: the truck that would take us there, bicycles, water, etc. We only made one stop for groceries at the last town on the way to the reserve.
The trip takes about an hour and a half, most of it through dirt roads, making it perfect for biking and stretching the legs. We biked some miles, crossing ranches and enjoying the sunset, the road is mainly flat.
The reserve extension is more than 400 hectares which you can feel... needless to say we were in the middle of nature, far from any village. We set up the campsite and with the night above us, Manuel and Román guided us for a walk, crossing part of the reserve, the ruins of what was a village many years ago and finally we arrived to a calm lagoon. That day was new moon and the stars were amazing; we even saw a shooting star, so fast that we missed the chance to make a wish.
After a diverse and great talk enjoying the night, we returned to the campsite. Manuel and Román helped us making a campfire and we dined while they told us more stories from their grandparents, the henequen, the haciendas, and about how the Mayas survived during the Caste War. Definitely a great first day.
Day 2 - The adventure
Our day started at 6:00 a.m., Manuel and Román guided us through trails in the jungle for birds sighting. We saw several kinds, additionally during the walk they helped us identifying trees and plants of the region. They told us which of them can be eaten, those with medicinal features, how do mayas acquired cotton, and the best trees for obtaining wood, the Mayans undoubtedly took great advantage of nature. It was a great day-start.
On the way back we had breakfast and afterwards headed to one of the 3 swamps at the reserve. There, Manuel showed us traces of a deer that was in the area the day before and also discovered the home of an iguana ... Inside a tree!
We biked to the ruins of the town. From this point our hiking began, different trails took us to an archaeological site that is composed of dozens of structures; the highest is the "Xbaatun" pyramid, which is more than 20 meters high. We loved it because it is at the middle of the jungle and still covered by nature, there are even trees on it. We climbed it, and enjoyed an excellent view of the area, as well as the sounds of wind and birds.
Back at the old town, we biked to the blue cenote. It's an amazing open cenote about 25 meters in diameter and 50 meters depth. It is beautiful, surrounded by trees whose roots have already reached the cenote, it has fish and vegetation underwater. The water is clear and refreshing, certainly a pleasant experience.
After swimming for a while we biked to the lagoon. The end was near and the best way to say goodbye was kayaking there!
In no time it was already 1:30 p.m., our departure time :( We arrived at Tekal de Venegas at 3:00 p.m.
Of course we want to come back, and will do so as soon as we can! Have you booked your experience yet?
Tours: 24 hrs. @ OxWatz, Adventure Tour (8 hrs.), 3 Activities Tour (8 hrs.)
For booking tours and see their details: Click here to book an OxWatz experience
OxWatz is a natural reserve, so it is necessary to book in advance. It's required because, according to the group size OxWatz staff coordinates guides, vans, etc.
Location: 13 St (between 20 & 22 St.), Downtown, Tekal de Venegas, Yucatan, Mexico
How to get there: Izamal - Tekal de Venegas Route
- To swim in the cenote, take your swimsuit, snorkel or goggles, and life jacket.
- Protect yourself, it is advisable to bring water, and biodegradable insect repellent and sunscreen.
- Take good care of this reserve, take all your trash back with you; be especially careful with glassware and / or campfires.
- Leave enough distance from fauna and animal traces.
- Every modification can alter the ecosystem, let's take good care of these wonderful places, and keep other regions' plants / animals away.
- In doubt, always ask! from facilities, roads, areas of public use, authorized activities, etc